Which is the best breeder for you?
Finding the best breeder is complicated! When people want to identify the most responsible Doodle breeder, what do they do? It takes way more research and discernment than simply asking their veterinarian or groomer. Or even talking with friends and family, although that’s good to include. It’s easy to generalize or assume things.
You’ll find many articles that advise you to (fill in the blanks – visit the breeder, meet the parents, play with the puppies, and so on). Doing that would be a great idea for kennels and large-scale USDA facilities. But small home based, family breeders are not the same. Potential clients really want in-home breeders, but ’pet store’ type access. The two unfortunately don’t go together. Most articles don’t share the small breeder’s point of view, nor explain their perspective.
Here at Maple Hill Doodles, there are valid reasons for our views. Basically, it comes down to mutual respect. There are countless articles on how to identify possible red flags. Yet there is a shortage of help for respecting their boundaries, especially the small breeders. When you deal with home-based breeders, you’re interacting with families.
So, here are some things to think about in your search for The Perfect Puppy.
A Family Business has unique needs.
Whatever the business is, the family (including our 4 legged members) must come first. We value our family time and try to safeguard that, especially while we still have kids at home. Because they’ll be grown and gone before we know it!
I’ll let you in on a personal wake-up call. One day my youngest pointed out I was always on the phone emailing or talking to people about puppies. That hit home. I needed boundaries, and time to just listen to him. He needed for me to pay attention to how his day had gone at school, or whatever else was on his mind, without multi-tasking.
Now, we stick to business hours during the day, for answering emails and communications. Sundays are our day off, to relax and enjoy time with each other.
We set boundaries to keep our home a sanctuary, and also for safety reasons. That means no drop-in visits, puppy inspection, bringing your kids to play with the puppies. In your research, you’ll find advice to always visit the breeder and meet the parent dogs to see living conditions. From a home-based breeder’s point of view, this can be considered an invasion of privacy and a disruption of family life.
Guidelines are not one size fits all.
Frequently dog breeders tell others in forums or groups that a breeder is not reputable if they don’t allow visitors to their home to meet all their dogs. This ignores the existence of other methods, to show the health and personalities of the puppies. We post videos of each litter and sometimes of individual puppies, and including their living area.
There are serious safety and biosecurity concerns nowadays. We’ve found that our videos, Facebook posts, Pinterest and Instagram page are sensible alternatives to in-person visits. We love all of our puppy families and plan to have a long-term relationship with each of them. But taking care of puppies is our priority and that takes precedence. Keep the main thing, the main thing.
Everyone says they’re the best breeder. Consider the source.
Sadly, this is a fact we need to address. Many show breeders, vets and rescues will have biased advice in helping in your search for your very own lovable responsibly cross bred puppy. They aren’t bad people. It’s just that your choice of a Doodle is something they don’t agree with. On the other hand, you’re not a bad person either, for wanting a cuddly Doodle. The life of one breed of puppy is not better than that of a different breed.
There is a lid for every pot.
If you have done your research, you’ll notice breeders vary greatly in their policies. This is where finding the perfect breeder, for you, boils down to being a good fit. Not every breeder and every family will be a good match and that’s okay! We do our best to assure prospective puppy families that we are reputable breeders by reviews, actively posting photos/videos on social media where our puppy families frequently comment and a stringent approval process while setting healthy boundaries for our privacy and security.